Tuesday, September 23, 2014

BREAKING: Philadelphia DA To Charge Three Attackers In Mob Gay-Bashing

Philadelphia's ABC affiliate reports:
Three people will be charged in an attack on a gay couple in Center City Philadelphia. The accused are Philip Williams, 24, Kevin Harrigan, 26, and Katherine Knott, 24, all of Bucks County, according to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office. Arrest warrants have been approved for the three suspects. Each will be charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and criminal conspiracy.

The incident unfolded at 10:45 p.m. on Thursday, September 11th. "This vicious attack shocked the entire country. An assault on people because of their sexual orientation has no place in Philadelphia," DA Seth Williams said in a statement. The two victims suffered serious facial injuries. They claim they were targeted for being homosexual and savagely beaten. Persons of interest being interviewed by police last week claimed it was a mutual fight, sources told Action News.
It appears that the basketball coach is not being charged. (Tipped by JMG reader Paul)

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Media Matters Debunks Top Five Myths About LGBT Non-Discrimination Laws

Carlos Maza does a great job. Watch this.

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RHODE ISLAND: State Supreme Court Hears Case Of Firefighters "Forced" To Drive In Providence Pride Parade

The Rhode Island Supreme Court today heard the case of two firefighters who are suing the city of Providence and former Mayor Buddy Cianci because 13 years ago they had to drive a firetruck during the pride parade. Which violated their religious freedom to be bigots, of course.
Following the nearly hour-long hearing, Cianci said he was astonished that 13 years later the case against him, former Fire Chief James Rattigan and the city is still alive. "In this day and age, I don't know why we are here," he said. "I hope this will be a victory for the gay community. They were taken to task and embarrassed [at the time]." Cianci noted that he was among the first mayors in the region to offer domestic partner benefits to gay couples. In the courtroom, lawyer Gina Decenso represented the firefighters, Theordore Fabrizio Jr., who is retired, and Stephen DeNinno, who is still with the department. She maintained that they were forced to join the parade against their wishes and were harassed afterward for their participation. She said she was "surprised" and "indignant" at Kevin McHugh, representing the city's solicitor's office, who called the case "ridiculous." "Public employees cannot be compelled to support an ideology they do not support," she said. McHugh countered that the firefighters' Constitutional rights to free speech and religion were not violated and that they do not have the right to pick and choose which orders of their supervisors they will carry out.
RELATED: While an ally, Cianci is no angel, having been booted out of office twice. His first stint as mayor ended in 1984 following an assault conviction and in 2002 he was sentenced to four years in federal prison after being convicted of racketeering, corruption, extortion, and witness tampering. He is now again running for mayor of Providence, where he has never lost an election.

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PENNSYLVANIA: State Sen. Jim Ferlo Comes Out During Hate Crimes Bill Rally

Pennsylvania state Sen. Jim Ferlo came out today during the hate crimes bill rally held at the capitol building in Harrisburg.
“The focus of the press conference was the horrendous act of hate against a gay couple in Philly, but I paused and made a personal statement that I think is germane to the topic,” Ferlo told BuzzFeed News when reached by phone. “I didn’t plan and I didn’t prepare it, but I thought it was an appropriate time to speak about the issue and share my experience.” Ferlo said he’s hasn’t kept his sexual orientation a secret or denied it to anyone, but has never made a public declaration about it prior to the press conference Tuesday. At one point, he told those gathered at the press conference, “I’m gay, get over it. It’s a great life,” WITF reported.
Ferlo has only days left in his term and is not seeking reelection.

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Scott Lively: Murderous Demons Have Taken Over The Human Rights Campaign

And the AFA's Sandy Rios agrees.

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Vatican Might OK Contraception

An advisor close to Pope Francis has dropped hints that the Vatican may be close to allowing the use of contraception without eternal damnation (or whatever the penalty is.)
Cardinal Walter Kasper said it was “the responsibility of the parents” to decide how many children they should have. He also said that so-called natural family planning, which is promoted by the Church as an alternative to contraception, also has an “artificial” element. His comments in an interview with The Tablet, the Catholic weekly, are likely to reopen debate about one of the most contentious areas of Catholic teaching just weeks before a special global gathering of bishops in Rome to discuss the Church’s position on family matters. Cardinal Kasper is the leading proponent of moves to relax the ban on remarried divorcees receiving Holy Communion, arguing for a greater emphasis on “mercy” for individuals without abandoning the Church’s official teaching that marriage is for life. Pope Francis has openly praised a book the German prelate wrote on the subject and has pointedly made mercy the central theme of many of his public pronouncements in recent weeks. Cardinal Kasper set out his ideas in a speech to fellow cardinals earlier this year widely believed to have been delivered with the blessing of Pope Francis.
The plan is expected to be strongly opposed by a group of "conservative cardinals."

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PENNSYLVANIA: Rep. Brian Sims Rages For Passage Of Hate Crimes Bill

Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims has apparently been convinced about the possibility of passing a hate crimes bill during the current legislative session. Watch as he denounces foot-dragging during today's rally at the capitol building in Harrisburg.

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Kristine W - Love Come Home

Kristine W has reached the summit of Billboard's dance chart 16 times, starting with 1994's Feel What You Want. The video below was filmed at a Las Vegas event put on by one of the organizers of Burning Man.

RELATED: Artists with more #1 dance hits are Madonna (43), Rihanna (22), Beyonce (21), Janet Jackson (19), Donna Summer (17), and Mariah Carey (17).

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Athlete Ally To Honor Yogi Berra

Next week Athlete Ally will hold its inaugural awards gala where baseball legend Yogi Berra will be among the honorees.
The event celebrates the pioneering actions by individuals and organizations in 2014 that helped create LGBT inclusive athletic environments and eliminate anti-LGBT prejudice. This first-of-its-kind event is an unprecedented LGBT-straight alliance embodying the Athlete Ally motto: Victory Through Unity. “I want to thank Athlete Ally for this honor,” said honoree Yogi Berra. “Baseball has always been an important part of my life. It teaches you how to challenge yourself and work as a team. No matter who you are, you should have that chance.” The Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center and Athlete Ally have partnered on a series of leadership workshops as well as “Allyship,” an exhibit commemorating the athletes throughout history who have helped break barriers and change attitudes in society. The exhibit will be on display at the Action Awards. “I'm glad what Athlete Ally is doing, and proud our Museum & Learning Center teaches kids the same idea: respect the game, respect the other guy,” said Berra. “Back when I played and today, there's no place for discrimination in sports."
Berra is considered to be the greatest catcher in the history of baseball and appeared in 21 World Series as a player and manager, 13 times for the winning side. He is perhaps equally well known for his Yogiisms, expressions like, "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded" and "It ain't over 'til it's over." My favorite was his reference to a hotel: "The towels were so thick, I could hardly close my suitcase." Tickets to Athlete Ally gala are at the top link.

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Scott Scott Baby

Accompanied by the Palm Beach Symphony and Ballet Palm Beach, yesterday reality star and erstwhile pop star Vanilla Ice performed his hit for Florida Gov. Rick Scott at an annual event to promote tourism. Ice was a big fan of Herman Cain in 2012.

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Which Legal Team Will Get To SCOTUS?

The New York Times reports on the "dueling" going on to be the legal team to argue for same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court.
In a half-dozen briefs filed in recent weeks, some of the best lawyers in the nation spent many pages arguing that their case was the right one in which to establish a nationwide right to same-sex marriage. They pointed out the attractive features of their own cases and the shortcomings of others. In legal jargon, streamlined cases without procedural pitfalls are said to be good vehicles. That made the fancy lawyers sound a little like car salesmen. The case from Virginia, one brief said, is “an excellent vehicle.” The one from Wisconsin, said another, is “an ideal vehicle.” The one from Utah, perhaps the leading candidate, was said to be, with the swagger of understatement, “an appropriate vehicle.”  The battle is for a place in the history books. Still, the sniping among the lawyers was a little unseemly, said James A. Campbell, a lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom, which is defending the bans on same-sex marriage in Oklahoma and Virginia. “As I would read their briefs,” Mr. Campbell said of his dueling adversaries, “I would write in the margin: ‘That’s an implicit dig at this case’ and ‘That’s a dig at that case.’”
Among the teams vying to be heard are AFER, GLAD, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Freedom To Marry head Evan Wolfson: "Every attorney in the world, it seems, is now eager to be the one that stands before the court in the freedom to marry case, but what really counts is the compelling collective presentation we will all make, no matter which case it is."

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Obama Speaks On ISIS War

Via NBC News:
President Barack Obama, speaking publicly for the first time after airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, declared Tuesday that the partnership of Arab allies “makes it clear to the world that this is not America’s fight alone.” The president spoke from the South Lawn of the White House before flying to New York for the United Nations General Assembly, where he will seek to marshal further support for the anti-ISIS campaign. The United States was joined in the strikes early Tuesday by Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. “America’s proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with these nations on behalf of our common security,” the president said. “The strength of this coalition makes it clear to the world that this is not America’s fight alone.” He reiterated that support for moderate opposition forces in Syria, who are fighting both ISIS and the regime of President Bashar Assad, is the “best counterweight” against the militants. “The overall effort will take time,” Obama said. “There will be challenges ahead, but we’re going to do what’s necessary to take the fight to this terrorist group for the security of the country, the region and the entire world.”

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Paul McCartney - Meat Free Monday

Stereogum recaps:
Meat Free Monday is a campaign to convince people who eat meat to skip eating it one day of the week to help reduce their carbon footprint. As any self-respecting Beatles fan knows (or Simpsons fan for that matter), Paul McCartney is a guy who skips eating meat seven days of the week. He once wrote a song titled “Meat Free Monday” to encourage people to take that pledge, and now it’s resurfaced with a new video. The campaign released a new lyric video for the track featuring photos sent in by fans who took the pledge. It was posted this week as global leaders flock to the UN headquarters in New York for the first major discussion on climate change since the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

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PENNSYLVANIA: Gov. Tom Corbett Condemns Gay Bashing, Dodges On Pending Hate Crimes Bill

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett yesterday finally issued a condemnation of the brutal mob gay-bashing in Philadelphia that has gotten national headlines for two weeks, but his office refused to say whether Corbett supports the renewed push for a statewide hate crimes law. Tony Meverick reports at Buzzfeed:
“In the wake of the crime in Philadelphia, the governor condemns the attack and crimes based on discrimination,” Corbett spokesman Jay Pagni said. “Without addressing the language in specific legislation, the governor condemns discrimination and crimes resulting from discrimination whether that discrimination be based on race, gender, or sexual orientation. Again, the governor condemns the attack.” However, the spokesman would not say whether Corbett, a Republican who faces a tough re-election fight this November, supports the bill Democratic state lawmakers are urgently seeking to pass in the few remaining days of session this year that would expand the state’s hate crimes law to view crimes committed because of a victim’s sexual orientation, among other reasons, as more severe.
The proposed hate crimes bill has the support of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf, who presently has a substantial polling lead over Corbett. A rally in support of the bill will be held in the Pennsylvania statehouse today by state Rep. Brendan Boyle, who has bucked other pro-LGBT legislators by saying that the bill has a chance of passage in the current session. Boyle is the Democratic nominee for the US House in Pennsylvania's 13th congressional district.

RELATED: Yesterday the Philadelphia police commissioner announced that the investigation into the gay-bashing has concluded and that charges against some of its participants are imminent.
Charles H. Ramsey said Monday that the department has concluded its investigation into a Center City assault that left a gay couple seriously injured - and that the District Attorney's Office is now reviewing the case. "We feel that there is sufficient evidence to have charges placed against some of the individuals there," Ramsey said in an interview. As prosecutors review differing accounts of the Sept. 11 incident, the case has spurred calls for changes to the state's hate-crime statute, which does not cover crimes motivated by sexual orientation. On Monday, Ramsey also said he supports modifying the state law, which he said "needs to change, and change very quickly." "There's no statute, unfortunately, that adds sexual orientation to the hate crime statute - which is a shame. There should be. No question about that," he said. With that, the commissioner joined a growing number of legislators who have spurred a renewed push to expand the current law.

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American Family Association: Force All Immigrants To Convert To Christianity

If it's right for ISIS, it's right for America.

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POLL: Support For Gay Marriage Dips

Via the Associated Press:
A survey released Monday from the Pew Research Center indicates American support for same-sex marriage could be leveling off after several years of dramatic growth in acceptance of equal rights for gays and lesbians. The study's authors caution it's too soon to draw any definitive conclusions. But the new poll released Monday found a 5 percentage point drop since February, from 54 percent to 49 percent, in Americans who want legal recognition for same-sex relationships. The percentage of those opposed increased during that same period, from 39 percent in February to 41 percent last month. The poll of 2,002 adults, conducted Sept. 2-9, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. "Since we've seen this upward trend for so long, we're cautious because it's too early to say what this means for long-term trends," said Jessica Martinez, a researcher in Pew's Religion and Public Life Project. "As we continue to ask this question in other surveys, we'll keep an eye on where this moves."
In addition to the dip in support for same-sex marriage, the percentage of Americans who consider homosexuality to be a sin increased by five points to 50%. Stand by for cartwheels from the right on both issues. The poll also suggests that Americans are more inclined to approve of mixing religion and politics.
Nearly three-quarters of the public (72%) now thinks religion is losing influence in American life, up 5 percentage points from 2010 to the highest level in Pew Research polling over the past decade. And most people who say religion's influence is waning see this as a bad thing. Perhaps as a consequence, a growing share of the American public wants religion to play a role in U.S. politics. The share of Americans who say churches and other houses of worship should express their views on social and political issues is up 6 points since the 2010 midterm elections (from 43% to 49%). The share who say there has been “too little” expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders is up modestly over the same period (from 37% to 41%).

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Exorcism Of The Day

Clip recap: "Energodar, Ukraine is home to the largest nuclear plant in Europe. It will also be remembered as the place where a drug addict name Anton with violent demons came the Christ and was delivered. Watch as seven men struggle to restrain Anton. This exorcism is translated into Russian." Acting! In Russian!

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Homocon House Candidate Carl DeMaio Hires & Fires Racist Staffer On Same Day

Homocon GOP House candidate Carl DeMaio hired and then fired a campaign staffer yesterday after discovering racist and anti-Semitic messages on his Twitter feed. 
Former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio, who is running for the Congressional seat held by Democrat Scott Peters, fired college student Blaise Hahs after tweets containing hashtags like ‘#smartniggaprobzz’ and comments such as “Who wants to drink Vodka tonight? Must have a vagina though,” were discovered on his Twitter timeline. Ironically, the DeMaio camp retweeted Hahs’ announcement that he had been hired by the campiagn, with Hahs writing he was “beyond stoked that I’ll be a regional political director for Carl DeMaio’s congressional campaign.” The candidate added, “Welcome aboard.” Reporters and the Peter’s campaign immediately reviewed Hahs Twitter timeline, discovering a photo of a baby monkey with the words “Kim and Kanye’s baby,” and a picture of a condom package with the words “Israel, it’s still safe to come,” to which Hahs added, “Fuckin’ Jews.” Hahs also captioned a tweet showing a sculpture of a cringing naked man with “Bitch, I said NO TEETH.” Alerted to the tweets, DeMaio pulled the job offer from Hahs.
RELATED: Last month investigators revealed that they suspected DeMaio's own staffers in a May break-in in which his campaign office was trashed.

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US Navy Launches Airstrikes On Syria

Via USA Today:
The U.S. military, along with Arab allies, launched the first airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria late Monday, as the war ordered by President Obama against the militant organization took on an urgent new phase. A statement early Tuesday from the Department of Defense said 14 airstrikes were carried out against ISIL targets. "The strikes destroyed or damaged multiple ISIL targets in the vicinity of Ar Raqqah, Dayr az Zawr, Al Hasakah, and Abu Kamal and included ISIL fighters, training compounds, headquarters and command and control facilities, storage facilities, a finance center, supply trucks and armed vehicles," the Defense Department said

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Chris Christie To Koch Brothers: I've Already Lost 85 LBS, So, You Know, 2016

Via the New York Times:
Behind closed doors at David Koch’s Upper East Side apartment Friday night, Gov. Chris Christie told conservative donors that he has shed 85 pounds since undergoing weight loss surgery last year. The governor’s appearance – inside Mr. Koch’s sprawling 18-room duplex – was strictly off limits to the press, but a guest told us that Mr. Christie was pressed by donors about his health. He did not reveal his current weight, although he said he understood he had to slim down if he wanted to move beyond Trenton. And he brought the house down with a joke: “A doctor once told me you have to have the right relationship with the food you eat. And believe me, for many years, I had a great relationship with the foods I ate.” As he eyes a 2016 presidential bid, Mr. Christie has been assiduously courting Mr. Koch, founder of the advocacy group Americans for Prosperity, the beneficiary of the event.
According to a recent polls, Christie trails Hillary Clinton by nine points in a prospective 2016 match-up.

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BREAKING: Louisiana State Judge Strikes Down Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Last month a federal court upheld Louisiana's ban on same-sex marriage. Yet today a state judge struck down the ban as unconstitutional.
Judge Edward Rubin of the 15th Judicial District Court in Louisiana ruled that state law prohibiting same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, violating the due process and equal protection clauses of 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as well as the full faith and credit clause. The news comes weeks after District Judge Martin Feldman upheld the Louisiana Constitution’s ban on same-sex marriage in an error-riddled decision. Feldman's decision was a sudden monkey wrench following 21 consecutive federal rulings against banning gay marriage, a previously unbroken streak since the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013.
So now what? Anything?

UPDATE: Details from Freedom To Marry.
The case, In Re Costanza and Brewer, was filed in 2013 on behalf of Angela Marie Costanza and Chastity Shanelle Brewer, who are raising their 10-year-old son in Lafayette. The case sought respect for Angela and Chastity's marriage license; since Louisiana did not respect their marriage, one mother was not permitted to legally adopt her son. The ruling today grants the second-parent adoption and affirms that the Louisiana amendment violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment.
UPDATE II: Buzzfeed reporter Chris Geidner is putting cautionary brakes on this story.

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CHAD: Parliament To Get Bill That Calls For 20 Year Sentence For Homosexuality

The national legislature for the central African nation of Chad will soon consider a bill that calls for a 20-year prison sentence for homosexuality, which is presently legal there. Pink News reports:
According to AFP, proposed legislation has already been adopted by the country’s cabinet which would punish gay sex with up to 20 years in prison. It is yet to go before the country’s parliament, but given rising anti-gay sentiment in the nation is expected to pass. Section 361 of the code bans same-sex actual activity for both men and women, and can lead to 15 to 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of 50,000 (£60) to 500,000 CFA francs (£600). The state claims the law was tabled to “protect the family and to comply with Chadian society”. Kerry Kennedy of the US-based Robert F Kennedy Centre for Justice and Human Rights said: “By criminalising homosexuality, Chad’s proposed penal code is an instrument of discrimination, not of justice."
Chad's has 10.3M residents. About 55% are Muslims and 40% are Christians. Chad president Idriss Deby, who seized power in a 1990 military coup, is a Muslim. His party is called the Patriotic Salvation Movement.

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John Oliver On The Miss America Pageant

Another hilarious rant. "Currently, the biggest scholarship program exclusively for women in America requires you to be unmarried, with a mint condition uterus, and also rewards working knowledge of butt adhesive technology."

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PENNSYLVANIA: State Rep Says Hate Crimes Bill Could Get Vote Tomorrow

Last week Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims said that a pending LGBT-inclusive hate crimes bill was likely dead for the current session. Today state Rep. Brendan Boyle disagrees. Via Victor Fiorillo at Philadelphia Magazine:
“Since it’s been introduced and co-sponsored and referred to committee, it could get final passage as early as Tuesday,” says Boyle, who has called a Harrisburg press conference on the subject for 11 a.m. Tuesday morning with State Representative Larry Farnese. When we spoke with Representative Brian Sims last week, he told us that he intends to take the Philadelphia victims with him to Harrisburg next year, because, the way Sims tells it, there's virtually no chance of anything happening with this bill during the current legislative session, and the next one starts in January. But Boyle isn't so sure. "It has been a year-and-a-half since I introduced it, and the Republican leadership has shown no willingness to move any piece of legislation that touches sexual orientation," Boyle says. "But in the wake of this event, there's a better chance of it happening now than months from now, when this issue will have receded from the news."
RELATED: Boyle is the Democratic nominee for the open US House seat in Pennsylvania's 13th congressional district. In November he faces swimming pool supplies mogul Dee Adcock, whose campaign site makes no mention of LGBT-related issues.

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MARYLAND: Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan Officiates Same-Sex Wedding

Via the Associated Press:
Kagan presided on Sunday over the wedding of former clerk Mitchell Reich and Patrick Pearsall in the Washington suburb of Chevy Chase, Maryland. Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said Monday that the same-sex ceremony was the first at which Kagan officiated. Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg have previously officiated at the wedding of gay and lesbian couples, including at the Supreme Court. Ginsburg most recently performed the wedding of Washington theater director Molly Smith.
When Ginsburg officiated last year, a chorus of outraged sadz erupted from Brian Brown and Matt Barber. The wingnut Charisma News denounced Ginsburg as a "tool of Satan." Stand by, Justice Kagan!

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Live Faith-Healing By Pat Robertson

Right there over the tee-vee!

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Twitter Suspends Account Spearheading Deletions Of Drag Names On Facebook

Via Pink News:
A Twitter account named the ‘Real Name Police’ which targeted drag performers on Facebook, calling on followers to report accounts to the social networking site which do not use legal names, has now been suspended. Last week Facebook met with drag performers in San Francisco following a controversy after the site started cracking down on profiles which do not use legal names. Despite the gesture, and an agreement to temporarily reinstate users’ profiles, Facebook said it would not change the policy. The performers argue that having a stage name unrelated to their legal name helps protect them from issues with employers, family members or unwanted attention. Many said their performer name was part of who they are. The Real Name Police account had trawled Facebook, and posted links to various accounts, including porn actor Michael Lucas, many drag performers and others who did not have their legal name on their Facebook account. The account posted an image of Twitter analytics, and claimed to have had over 201,000 impressions since it was set up three days ago.
I'm rather surprised that Twitter suspended the account. They weren't too interested a couple of years ago when I got death threats.

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World Net Daily: God Wants President Obama To Nuke The Middle East

"Let us finally face it and stop pussyfooting around. We are in a religious war! In the end, it is either them or us. If we intend to have any chance of survival, it is also time that we face reality. Either we kill these radical Muslim ISIS cockroaches – all of them – before they spread like cancer and infest the globe, or in time they will kill all of us. It is survival time, boys and girls. No time for the weak at heart. God understood this when he sent a plague to kill the Egyptians, allowing Moses to flee with his enslaved people for the Promised Land. God acted similarly when he destroyed the Roman Empire and the Jewish high priests after they conspired to crucify his Son. How can we humans, with the divine grace and guidance of the Father and his Son, act differently under these dire circumstances? Notwithstanding the Muslim president’s traitorous acts furthering the planned Islamic caliphate over the last six years, Bush and company sowed the seeds that Obama then exploited to further the insidious plans of his Middle Eastern Muslim brothers to again enslave Jews and now Christians to a world where Shariah law rules the school under the devilish hand of their god, Allah." - Larry Klayman, in a World Net Daily column titled "Best ISIS Strategy: Nuke 'Em."

PREVIOUSLY ON JMG: Last month Klayman sued President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry for secretly conspiring to aid the terrorist group Hamas.  Klayman, who founded Freedom Watch and who unsuccessfully sued Rachel Maddow on behalf of hate group leader Bradlee Dean, has repeatedly called for outright armed revolution against the federal government. Fewer than 100 idiots showed up at a rally outside the White House last October, where Klayman infamously called for President Obama to "put down the Koran and come out with your hands up."

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ISRAEL: Gay Club Promoter Denounced For Evoking ISIS Beheadings In Party Ads

Via NBC News:
An Israeli gay party promoter has published posters featuring a stark parody of ISIS beheading videos. Drek, which puts together events in famously gay-friendly Tel Aviv, apologized for the use of the homoerotic humor drawing on the gruesome murders of James Foley, Steven Sotloff and David Haines, but also defended the posters. "Our way to express our contempt and criticism to things that take place in the reality in the past four years is through humor and satire," the event organizers said in a Facebook post. "We think our enemies victory will be when we live in fear and let them control our thoughts. We feel that humor takes the sting out of threatening and offensive issues. If our publications of our last party hurt the feeling of somebody, we apologize." Nevertheless, most commenting on the organization's Facebook page were supportive. "In my eyes the invitation is genius and smart. Satire is mostly a bit extreme and that is fine," Karam Dadu wrote.
More from Israel's Ynet News:
Though a number of people shrugged off the posters as poor taste, most were enraged: "Disgusting! Getting a laugh off of the murder of innocent victims," wrote one commentator; "very baaaaaaaaaaad," wrote another, while a third lamented it "poor satire". Posting the images online to Drek's Facebook page, the organizers wrote "as the new Islamic State gains traction in the Middle East, we at Drek have decided to give in to Sharia law and cheer the stubborn Daesh," using the Arab acronym for the group, and invoking a veiled play on words – "stubborn" in Hebrew can be written as "hard necked", a reference to the group's infamous executions. Amiri Kalman, one of the Drek's founders, said in response: "We are trying to react to current events. We have been doing it for a number of years. But we reject violence in any form and that includes the (execution) videos intended to scare the world."
The flag in the second image above is reportedly meant to represent the black flag of ISIS. 

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Richard Blanco - Until We Could

I got to see this gorgeous short back in April at the tenth anniversary celebration of Freedom To Marry. The Daily Beast recaps:
It is a decade since the U.S. first state, Massachusetts, enshrined marriage equality in law, and since the founding of campaign group Freedom To Marry (FTM). It has been a fruitful, frustrating decade, a bizarre range of weather systems of advances and losses—but mainly now, finally, advances. To mark the 10 years, FTM commissioned Richard Blanco, the poet for Barack Obama’s second inauguration in 2013, to write a poem commemorating the decade. So powerful was the result, titled “Until We Could,” the organization then commissioned a video to bring Blanco’s words to evocative life.
The poem's text is at the link above.

(Tipped by JMG reader David)

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PHILADELPHIA: Multiple Arrests Expected In Brutal Mob Gay-Bashing Case

Via Jen Coletta at Philadelphia Gay News:
A police source said this week that they were nearly "ready to go" in terms of making arrests and said charges are expected "this week." A key witness, the source said, was due in for an interview Monday, "the girl who was right in the middle of it all." After that, the source said, the District Attorney's Office will review all of the evidence collected in the case and make a decision about charges. "People are going to get locked up," the source said.

As the men were being attacked, one of their bags, containing a cell phone and wallet, fell to the ground and one of the assailants took it. A source close to the investigation said one of the members of the group said she picked up the bag in the melee thinking it belonged to a companion and, upon realizing it did not, dropped it at 16th and Walnut streets. The bag was discovered by a homeless person, who used one of the victim's credit cards. "The credit card was used several different places, so we've had to go to all the places the card was used and investigate," the source said.

As of Monday morning, police had completed 18 interviews with members of the group and witnesses. Each interview, the source said, takes about four hours. Prolonging the process, the source added, is that each person in the group has retained a separate, private attorney. "What happens with cases like this is that, if you rush it and don't do a good job, they'll start throwing out charges later on. These kids all have top-notch attorneys, so if our case isn't put together on our end, they're going to pick it apart. But we've put together a great case for the DA and we'll be working in conjunction with the DA to bring the charges."
The case was broken open last week after a Twitter sleuth identified the mob via photos and their social media accounts. Almost immediately, a basketball coach at a local Catholic high school either resigned or was terminated (accounts differ) due to his involvement. That coach, Fran McGlinn, has supporters on Twitter who are using the hashtag #McGlinnocent. (Tipped by JMG readers Str8 Grandmother and Paul)

RELATED: The attack on the two men has spawned renewed and widespread support for the resurrection of an LGBT-inclusive hate crimes law in Pennsylvania, including from Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf. A previously existing law was overturned by the state supreme court several years ago following a lawsuit by the anti-gay hate group Repent America. This Thursday state Rep. Brian Sims will co-host a Philadelphia rally in support of the pending legislation.

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Robert Oscar Lopez To Fifth Circuit: Stop Gay Marriage Because I Was A Prostitute

Homocon horcrux Robert Oscar Lopez has filed a deranged amicus brief with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the ban on same-sex marriage in Texas. According to Lopez' brief, gay parents escape punishment for abusing their children because child welfare authorities fear appearing bigoted. The brief goes on to accuse Frontiers writer Karen Ocamb of "issuing an invitation for people to harass or even attack me physically" because Ocamb wrote a post which named his workplace, which is California State University-Northridge.

Lopez goes on whine about activists Jeremy Hooper, Wayne Besen, and Zack Ford for daring to describe him as "anti-gay." (Sadly, yours truly does not appear in the brief.) And then there's this recounting of Lopez' alleged days as a gay prostitute:
I believe it was around 1987 that I first had a man offer me payment in exchange for having sex in the back of his van. My first time being paid for sex brought me a mix of shame and further compulsion. I became a habitual sex worker by the age of sixteen in various cruising spots where older men told me I could find other customers; these included public parks, the bathrooms in 24-hour supermarkets, community sports centers, and certain spaces in Lockwood Library of the State University of New York at Buffalo, where I had sex with graduate students, janitors, and professors well over twice my age. The money I received for sex certainly helped me financially because it allowed me certain spending money beyond what I earned with my teenage jobs at a pizzeria and in my mother’s clinic. But the money was not as impactful as the fact that I needed to feel loved and wanted by an older male figure, even if for only as short as a half hour.
Much of the rest of the brief defends the debunked work of discredited researcher Mark Regnurus. Read the full brief in all its entertaining batshittery at Equality Case Files.

PREVIOUSLY ON JMG: In April 2014 Lopez filed an anti-gay amicus brief in support of Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage. Last March 2014 Lopez declared that gay men are turning surrogate mothers into breeding slaves. Last year, in addition to appearing on stage at an anti-gay Manif Pour Tous rally in France that was supported by neo-Nazis, Lopez testified against LGBT equality before several state legislatures and he co-signed an anti-gay homocon brief to the Supreme Court in support of DOMA. You really must read the Media Matters take on Lopez' trilogy of gay erotica. 

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Southern Baptists Convention: How We Fight Against Same-Sex Marriage

The Ethics & Religious Liberties Commission of the Southern Baptists Convention has issued the below slick five-minute video detailing all the ways that they are fighting against same-sex marriage, abortion rights, and the alleged persecution of Christians. Two weeks ago the group filed a SCOTUS brief in support of Utah's ban on gay marriage.

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Census: 500K Gays Have Married In USA

Via Gay Star News:
Over half a million Americans have married a partner of the same-sex, new Census data released this month reveals. The United States Census Bureau estimated in 2012 that there were only 182,000 same-sex married couples in America. However revised estimates from the bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey upped that figure substantially to nearly 252,000. That figure does not include same-sex couples who married but then later divorced. In comparison there are 56 million American households that are headed by opposite-sex married couples. The Census Bureau also found that only 50.3% of Americans over 18 were in married relationships in 2013 – down from an all time high in 1960 when 72.2% of Americans were in opposite-sex marriages and same-sex relationships were illegal and not recorded.

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Next Manhattan Supertall: One Vanderbilt

As I've noted in several recent posts, Manhattan is going through an unprecedented boom of new supertall skyscrapers, many of which are mixed-use hotel/retail/condo combos. New York YIMBY provides a look at One Vanderbilt, which will loom over Grand Central Terminal on Manhattan's east side.
Among New York’s existing supertalls, the 1,450-foot building will be closest to the Chrysler, which is just a few blocks to the east, but separated enough for continued distinction. The Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed tower will dominate the vicinity, standing over 600 feet taller than the neighboring MetLife Building, which has dominated perspectives of Grand Central Terminal for four decades. Future neighbors will likely equal or surpass One Vanderbilt, given the inevitability of a Midtown East re-zoning, which has been delayed but not denied. If residential could be encouraged, aiding Midtown East’s transition into a 24-hour neighborhood, towers even taller than SL Green’s impending icon would become all but inevitable.
One Vanderbilt will be 200 feet taller than the Empire State Building, whose height will also be eclipsed by other towers either announced or already under construction.

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FRANCE: Manif Pour Tous To March Again

France's virulently anti-gay Manif Pour Tous is planning another massive march for October 5th.  Earlier marches drew hundreds of thousands across France where riot police were usually forced to respond with tear gas and arrests. Manif Pour Tous is backed by France's neo-Nazi National Front party and by a group which advocates for a Catholic theocracy. The head of MTP attended NOM's 2014 hate march in Washington DC so don't be surprised to see Brian Brown back in Paris next month. From the coming demonstration's press materials: "Because the exploitation of women is intolerable. Because the child is not an object. Because all children need a father and a mother. This, we do not want, either in France or anywhere else!"

RELATED: Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy announced his 2017 bid to return to office by denouncing France's legalization of same-sex marriage. According to Sarkozy, same-sex marriage "humiliates" people who love the family.

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Quote Of The Day - Janet Crouse

"Having swept all before them in the aimless societies of the west, the LGBTIQ crowd is in a howling fury with Russia’s pro-family movement for its refusal to capitulate to their gay marriage agenda. They are calling for federal investigations of Americans participating in what should have been a non-controversial international pro-family celebration, honoring an institution that has been the backbone of virtually all societies throughout thousands of years of history. The International Family Forum, convening in Moscow on September 10 at the State Kremlin Palace and continuing September 11 at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, drew more than 1,000 participants from around the world (including about a dozen individuals from the United States).

"Many Western nations have kowtowed to the pressures of the LGBTIQ movement that seeks to destroy freedom of speech, religious liberty, marriage and the family. Emboldened by their political victories in the United States (more often than not at the hands of unelected judges), the protesters made global headlines by trying to shut down the World Congress of Families’ pro-family celebration in Australia. They succeeded in preventing American organizations -- especially the World Congress of Families -- from participating in the just-completed International Family Forum in Moscow; they threw up barriers and threatened retribution, but they could not shut down either the Australian or the Russian events. The most they could do was demand there be investigations of the American individuals who helped plan the Russian conference, but they could not stop free citizens from participating on their own." - Concerned Women of America senior fellow Janet Crouse, who attended that Kremlin hate summit which concluded with a call for more nations to criminalize homosexuality.

NOTE: Right Wing Watch has repeatedly noted that while the World Congress of Families did take their name off the Kremlin event, their leaders did attend as did NOM head Brian Brown.

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Alaska TV Reporter: Fuck It, I Quit

Via the Independent:
KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quit her job on live TV last night, outing herself as the owner of an Alaskan cannabis club and declaring "fuck it". Having grown weary of reporting the news, Green told viewers she would be instead putting all her energy into the fight to legalise marijuana in the state, previously having reported on Alaska Cannabis Club without mentioning her connection to it. In a jaw-dropping twist to the end of a segment she said: "Now everything you heard is why I, the actual owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, will be dedicating all of my energy for fighting for freedom and fairness which begins with legalizing marijuana here in Alaska. And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice but, fuck it, I quit."
The anchor was left flummoxed.

(Tipped by JMG reader Christopher)

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NASA Spacecraft Orbits Mars

Via the New York Times:
NASA’s latest Mars spacecraft, Maven, arrived Sunday evening to study the mystery of what happened to the planet’s air. After a 33-minute engine firing, mission controllers received acknowledgment at about 10:25 p.m. Eastern time that Maven was in orbit around Mars. After a six-week period to turn on and check systems on the spacecraft and to move it to its final orbit, Maven — the name is short for Martian Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution — is to take detailed measurements of the dynamics of Mars’s upper atmosphere. But first, it will have a sideshow, taking observations of a comet that, by rare happenstance, will make a close flyby of Mars on Oct. 19, passing within 82,000 miles. Mission managers have arranged to activate Maven’s eight scientific sensors by then.

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AUSTRALIA: Prime Minister Responds To Child's Letters On Marriage Equality

"Dear Abbey, Thank you for letting me know your views on same-sex marriage. I appreciate you letting me know about your own family. In my family, I have a sister with a female partner. My sister’s partner is a loved member of our family. While I respect your views on same sex marriage, I hold a different view. My personal position is to support the existing definition of marriage. The Government supports the current definition of marriage contained in the Marriage Act. Any change to this policy would be a matter for the Coalition Party Room. Thank you again for writing to me. I wish you well in the future." - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, responding to an eight year-old who wrote a letter seven days in a row in support of her uncles. Hit the link to read all of Abbey's letters.

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NEW YORK CITY: 300,000 March Ahead Of United Nations Climate Change Summit

Via USA Today:
More than 300,000 people marched through the streets of New York City on Sunday in what organizers called the largest climate-change demonstration in history. With banners, flags, floats and drums, protesters at the "People's Climate March" overwhelmed midtown Manhattan in flocks of vivid color, demanding action ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit this week. "I'm totally passionate about our planet and what's happening with our life here," said Heather Snow, 57, a massage therapist from Wilmington, N.C. "The whole Congress, everyone has gone insane, and it's time to end the insanity. I don't know how, I don't know when, but it's got to happen soon. We're running out of time." The massive march kicked off at 11:30 a.m. on the ritzy Upper West Side along Central Park before winding its way through the city on a two-mile route. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, former U.S. vice president Al Gore, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and actors Mark Ruffalo and Leonardo DiCaprio joined thousands of protesters at the march.

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Matt Baume: Marriage News Watch

Clip recap:
A surprising reveal this week from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg about the court's plans for taking up a marriage case -- or maybe not taking up any. An Arkansas clerk breaks ranks with top state officials, declaring for the first time that the state's marriage ban is unconstitutional. Plus: numerous states freeze their marriage lawsuits while they wait for a Supreme Court ruling.

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Breitbart Headline Of The Day

This is how Breitbart is reporting on today's anti-climate change marches.

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Final NYC High Line Segment Opens

Via Gothamist:
The High Line is finally done! The third and final phase of the elevated park was officially opened on Saturday at a ceremony held near its south end directly above West 31st Street. A long procession of colorfully-dressed volunteers, community members, and people otherwise associated with the High Line's development—ranging from design firm employees to local LGBT groups (including the ever-entertaining Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band)—marched down the length of the existing High Line bearing flags and giant puppets. Phase Three stretches from the High Line's previous northern terminus above West 30th Street and Tenth Avenue, along Twelfth Avenue overlooking the Hudson River and Penn Station's West Side Yard (read: lots of LIRR trains), to West 34th Street across from the Javits Center. The 34th Street entrance is the first and only grade-level, non-elevated entry into the park.
Many photos are at the link.

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NORTHERN IRELAND: Sinn Fein Calls For Referendum On Reuniting Ireland

Hot on the heels of Scotland's rejection of independence from the United Kingdom, Sinn Fein is calling for a referendum on reuniting Northern Ireland with Ireland. Via Reuters:
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said Scotland's "inspiring" referendum on independence would accelerate a vote to unite Ireland, a prospect quickly dismissed by Unionists who share power in Northern Ireland. Scotland spurned independence in a historic vote that threatened to rip the United Kingdom apart but an electrifying campaign has emboldened separatist movements across Europe from Catalonia to Flanders. Predominantly Catholic Nationalists in Northern Ireland, who remained part of United Kingdom in a northern province dominated by Protestants after the Irish state secured independence from Britain in 1921, maintained a studied silence in recent weeks. Although the pro-British Protestants still make up a majority of the Northern Irish population, Nationalist leader Adams intensified his push for a border poll – which is allowed no more than once every seven years under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement peace deal. Sinn Fein has argued that under the terms of the agreement, there is a right to a referendum and that there should be a debate on the issue. "The campaign in Scotland will accelerate that entire process," Adams told Irish national broadcaster RTE.
In the last major poll on the issue, a slim majority of Catholics in Northern Ireland favored remaining part of the United Kingdom. (Tipped by JMG reader Eric)

RELATED: According to the Campaign For A United Ireland, numerous American state and municipal legislative bodies have issued resolutions in support of unification. 

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Brian Brown: SCOTUS Will Totally Rule Against Gay Marriage Because Louisiana

"Oh, you didn’t hear much about the Louisiana decision? No surprise. Here’s what happened. U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman, following extensive briefing and argument, ruled that the U.S. Constitution does not prohibit the state of Louisiana from defining marriage solely as one man and one woman, nor refusing to recognize so-called same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. He found that the state had several valid reasons for having adopted this position, which was approved by 78 percent of its voters. One reason, Feldman wrote, was to encourage children to be raised by their mother and father in an intact family. Another was to ensure that any change in such a foundational issue as marriage should only be considered via the democratic process and not be judicially imposed. [snip] We’re probably 10 months away from the Supreme Court issuing a definitive ruling on whether defining marriage in state law solely as the union of one man and one woman violates the Constitution. When that ruling comes, many people will once again be shocked that the 'inevitable' didn’t happen because they hadn't heard much about Feldman and his prescient ruling in Louisiana." - Hate group leader Brian Brown, writing for US News & World Report.

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ReaganBook Becomes FreedomBook

Back in July we all had a lot of fun with hate group crackpot Janet Porter's launch of ReaganBook, a conservatives-only social media site meant to counter those homofascists at Facebook. Today JMG reader Sean tips us that the URL for ReaganBook now redirects to a placeholder page for a site called FreedomBook. I'm betting that the Reagan estate sent Porter a stern cease-and-desist notice.

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INDONESIA: Aceh Province Considers 100 Public Lashings For Homosexuality

In May 2013 the deputy mayor of the capital city of Indonesia's Aceh province proposed criminalizing homosexuality with a punishment of one hundred public lashings with a cane. Yesterday that law was presented to the provincial legislature.
Aceh is the only part of the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation to enforce Islamic sharia law and has been slowly implementing it since 2001, when it gained some powers of autonomy. A draft bylaw sent to AFP on Saturday outlaws anal sex between men and "the rubbing of body parts between women for stimulation", and for the first time applies Islamic laws and punishments to non-Muslims. The bylaw also punishes adultery with 100 lashes of the cane. The bylaw reinforces previous sharia legislation that bans alcohol consumption, gambling, fraternising between unmarried men and women, and physical displays of affection outside of marriage, such as touching and kissing. Canings in Aceh are often carried out with a long thin rattan stick and are aimed at humiliating, rather than causing pain. The bylaw allows for fines paid in gold or jail time as an alternative to the lashes.
An estimated 98% of Aceh's 4.5 million residents are Muslim. LGBT rights are virtually nonexistent across Indonesia, although a national bill to criminalize gay sex failed in 2003. Yesterday's action was gleefully noted on Twitter by Martin "Eat Da Poo Poo" Ssempa, who retweeted the message, "God bless Indonesia."

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